How Gavin Newsom survived the recall

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LOS ANGELES — For a moment this summer, Gavin Newsom’s inner circle feared the effort to recall him could be drawing uncomfortably close.

In late July and early August, the Delta variant of the coronavirus was raging, threatening school reopenings in the fall. Public polling showed many Democrats were so apathetic about voting that it was possible — if turnout was low enough — that a Republican could win.

“Clearly there was a time in the summer where the thing went from … this optimism [about Covid] like, ‘Oh, the war is over, it’s ended,’ to ‘Oh, shit,’” said Ace Smith, Newsom’s lead strategist.

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